Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Clara Spera
Friday, April 3, 2015, 10:13 AM

Yesterday, President Obama announced a preliminary agreement with Iran that would significantly scale back Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The details of the interim agreement, nicely summarized over at the Washington Post, still need to be finalized and translated into writing and signed by all the relevant parties by June 30, 2015. Nevertheless, the Obama administration sees this step towards a permanent solution as a resounding victory. The New York Times covers the details of President Obama’s announcement from the Rose Garden, and predicts that, should this deal come to fruition, it will help determine President Obama’s foreign policy legacy.

Politico focuses less on President Obama’s announcement, and more on the steps he’ll have to take in the coming months to convince Congress and American allies that the deal is the best way to hinder Iranian nuclear proliferation. Predictably, it may be a hard sell for many in Congress.

In Iran, a similar public negotiation is taking place: the Iranian government is trying to “sell” the deal to its public, fighting against criticisms that the deal offers up too many concessions. The Times has the story.

The Times Editorial Board has thrown its support behind President Obama and his nuclear deal with Iran, arguing that, though skepticism towards Iran is justified, the deal has a good chance at working out.

Juliet Eilperen and Greg Jaffe of the Post, on the other hand, focused on the unfinished nature of the deal with Iran, and remind their readers of the bumpy road that got the negotiating parties to this point, and that the road ahead is only bumpier.

In the wake of President Obama’s announcement, many are beginning to wonder what his foreign policy legacy will be. At the Huffington Post, Ryan Grim postulates that we will remember President Obama as stalwart in his commitment to diplomacy over military aggression

Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu gathered his security cabinet to discuss the implications of the Iran nuclear deal and its potential impact on Israel. The Post tells us that Netanyahu called President Obama yesterday to express his strong opposition to the pending deal, because he believes that, rather than hindering Iran’s nuclear capabilities, the deal will only strengthen them, alongside bolstering the Iranian economy and international legitimacy.

Ari Shavit, an Israeli journalist, has written a piece in Politico, arguing that the Iran deal is a “terrible mistake.” Echoing his Prime Minister’s sentiments, Shavit argues that the deal does not go far enough to prevent a nuclear Iran, heightening fears of Israel’s being confronted one day by a nuclear Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps entirely nuclear Gulf.

While the world’s eyes are on its nuclear program, the Daily Beast is taking a closer look at Iran’s drone program. The Beast reports having found satellite imagery of Iran’s “secret drone base,” strengthening its naval presence and ability to deter American attacks on Iranian soil. This all suggests that, though the U.S.-Iran relationship is improving due to the nuclear deal, deep suspicion and unease still dominates.

Old CIA skeletons are coming out of the closet in Lithuania. Reuters reports Lithuanian prosecutors have reopened an investigation—that had been closed in 2011—into claims that the CIA, alongside help from Lithuanian officials, created and operated a black site in the county.

Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden has penned an opinion piece for the Post, arguing against “technological protectionism.” Hayden argues that shielding American technology from friends abroad might “freez[e] development, alienat[e] allies, fee[d] distrust or invit[e] the creation of similar barriers abroad.”

ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare

Carrie took a closer look at the recently published Brennan Center report on FISA reform, focusing in particular on three of the proposals laid out in that report.

Alex Whiting, formerly of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, remarked on Palestine becoming the 123rd State Party to the Rome Statute and noted that, contrary to expectations, Palestine did not file an article 14 referral of the situation in Palestine for investigation by the OTP.

Apparently, there’s such a thing as “paintball drone” now. Ben shared the new invention with us, noting that such an invention begs the question of what kind of more dangerous inventions we’ll be seeing from hobbyists in years to come.

Paul followed up on a post from earlier in the week, informing us that, apparently entertainment is critical infrastructure, a fact that may be surprising to many, including Paul.

Herb worried about the efficacy of President Obama’s new executive order that would impose sanctions for malicious cyber activity.

Ben doesn’t want us to forget that the Times’ editorial board yesterday referred to Syrian Bashar al-Assad as a “potential ally” in fighting against the Islamic State

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